I was talking to a client about productivity and she asked me how I manage to write a blogpost each week. How do I come up with the ideas for it? Our discussion led to this post. The steps I take can be applied to any sort of task or writing or creative activity – it’s basically about finding inspiration and motivating yourself. Not always easy things to do…
It can be really hard when you need to write something, and you want to make it good. A blogpost, a tricky email response, a job application, even a work report. You don’t quite know what to say, it’s got to be just so, and you want to make it interesting.
To do this successfully it comes down to a few things: find inspiration and get ideas, and get in the right frame of mind to do the work.
Look for inspiration
My first piece of advice is – stay alert and look out for the stuff you’re interested in. I’m forever saving and reading interesting articles – which I’ve found via Twitter, LinkedIn, or emails or newsletters I receive. I obsessively listen to podcasts, and if I hear of a new one that sounds good I’ll immediately download an episode or make a note of the name.
I regularly come up with new ideas this way – what’s my take on the topic?
Even if what you read or listen to isn’t directly related to your problem, hearing about someone else being productive, finding a solution, or making things happen – can get you out of a slump and inspire you into action.
If I particularly need a creativity boost, I’ll read a book on creativity like Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. A few pages in I’ll have an idea or at least feel inspired to give it a go.
Search it out
Of course you can also specifically search for what you need – ideas for subject matter, email templates, tips on how to write better. Get on Google and there will be an article or video out there to provide an answer or give you ideas.
The important thing here, is find someone who writes in a way that inspires you. There are so many voices out there. Anything that makes you roll your eyes or cringe is a no go – but keep going until you find something that speaks to you.
When I’m staring at the computer screen and feel paralysed/bored/tired/uninspired, sometimes the only solution is to go for a walk. Either nice and quiet, strolling along and looking around me, or, more typically, listening to a podcast or music. Without fail this gets me in a better mood, gets me thinking, and gets my energy up.
I come back refreshed and with renewed energy. And maybe even with a little idea.
Final tip – if I’m not feeling particularly inspired but I’ve got some sort of an idea, I’ll just start writing. Even if it seems rubbish – it’s a base. It’s always easier to come back to something and edit it – it’s less pressure than starting with a blank page.
I hope this helps if you’ve been struggling with some sort of creative project or piece of writing. You have to search out inspiration sometimes, it doesn’t always just come to you. Good luck!
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